COVID19 in Spain (October 2020)
Today we're back to the topic that dominated everything this year and turned our world upside down: CoVid19. Those of you who read our blog and follow our Facebook journals know that this is not my favorite topic and I would be happiest if it ended - as probably most of you. However, so far, a lot is going on on this front, so I feel obliged to tell you how does it look like from our Andalusian perspective.
First things first - good news
Let me start with some good news: 30.09. the Polish government removed Spain from the "black list" and allowed direct flights on the PL - ES routes. Ryan Air is flying to Malaga for now, I hope that LOT will also restore the Warsaw-Malaga route, which it introduced with great success in July. So, if you want to visit us this fall, logistically, there are no obstacles to that.
How does it look at airports and airplanes?
Now you are probably asking yourself: "Is it safe?" If you mean the preparation of airports and flight security, in my opinion, Malaga airport is one of the most restrictive ones when it comes to complying with sanitary regulations. Ubiquitous masks, disinfectants, social distance. There are relatively few travelers, so you are not threatened by crowds and queues. This applies not only to Malaga, recently I happened to be at several airports and there were no crowds anywhere.
In airplanes masks are compulsory and the air is disinfected to the cleanliness level adopted for operating theaters. Airlines compete in ideas for securing their passengers: larger distances between seats, free middle row, free hand luggage check in to reduce the number of unnecessary items on board, menu in the form of QRcode, etc. Cabin crew wear masks and gloves and react strongly to irresponsible behavior of passengers. In such a prepared plane, it is definitely safer than on a bus or tram during rush hour.
The epidemiological situation in Spain
The epidemiological situation in Spain is difficult - it is no secret. Unfortunately, during a pandemic, members of the Spanish government and the opposition are trying to gain political capital on this situation, and this translates into general chaos and often absurd decisions aimed not to serve the health care and the patients, only the people concerned. The president of the Spanish Society of Family Medicine and Social Health, Salvador Tranche, commented on the situation in his interview with RTVE: “Both sides are using the health situation for political debate. This has a very negative impact on society, generates a lot of uncertainty and, more importantly, translates into mortality rates. From an ethical and legal point of view, it is unacceptable.” I fully agree to this statement.
Coronavirus in Andalusia in numbers
Speaking of numbers and indicators, in Andalusia 6,097 cases of CV were recorded in the last week, 395 people were hospitalized, of which 27 people in intensive care, 85 people died. To put these numbers in the right context, I would like to add that Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest autonomous community in Spain. With a population of nearly 8.5 million, there are 769.8 CV diagnoses per 100,000 inhabitants. In Andalusian hospitals, CoVid19 patients occupy 7.05% of beds, while in intensive care 12.15%.
A few more numbers from Marbella (as of 2 October): 9 new cases in 24 hours, so we close the week with 85 cases. This is the lowest number in the last two months. Nobody died and another 67 people recovered.
What are the restrictions?
We still wear masks in the streets and wherever there is impossible to keep social distance. Visits to nursing homes are forbidden. Restaurants are allowed to accommodate 50% of guests, tables should be 1.5 meters from each other, and no more than 6 people can sit at one table. You cannot eat at the bar - which Andalusians love. Restaurants can serve guests until 22:00. The number of wedding participants was limited to 30 people. All these restrictions are temporary and are intended to reduce the transmission of the virus.
However, people coming from outside to Andalusia and Spain in general say that they feel safer here than in their home country. And this is, in my opinion, the best summary of the security topic.
What will happen next? This is a question no one knows the answer to. Each country tries to deal with the CoVid19 problem on its own and through various means. These actions lack coherence and often real assessment of the situation in the neighboring countries. Anyway, so far there are flights, so come over!
Photo by pixpoetry / Unsplash